Terrelle Pryor is one of five Ohio State players that have been suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. The suspensions stem from selling championship rings, jerseys and awards, as well as receiving improper benefits from a tattoo parlor.â†µ
Although the punishment for these violations was handed down weeks before Ohio State's bowl game, all five players will be eligible to play against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. According to the NCAA, the "student-athletes did not receive adequate rules education during the time period the violations occurred," which apparently means they shouldn't miss the bowl game. To me this makes zero sense whatsoever from an explanation standpoint. In reality it probably had to do with a bowl game being all about the money, which just speaks about the hypocrisy of the NCAA.â†µ
Whatever the case, Pryor, running back Daniel "Boom" Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey, offensive tackle Mike Adams and defensive end Solomon Thomas will be out the first five games of the 2011 season. This is great news for Michigan State because OSU's fifth game of the '11 season is against the Spartans. Suddenly MSU's matchup with Ohio State doesn't look nearly as daunting. Some of these players may be inclined to go pro and enter the NFL Draft because of their suspension, and even if they return, none will see the field against MSU.â†µ
Ohio State is going to appeal the suspensions because they feel they're too severe. It's unlikely the suspensions will be thrown out, but if they are reduced by even one game, these five players would be eligible to play against Michigan State if they decide to return for the 2011 season.